Unheralded

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 7

And now for something completely different. I am not a birdwatcher. I feed the birds on my deck and I recognize a few of them, like the cardinal and the finch. But mostly if I see a bird that’s pretty, I point at  it and say, “Oh. There’s a pretty bird.”  But it has to be fairly obvious because my …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Does The Governor’s Office Have A “Slush Fund?” Well, Not Really …

When residents of Billings County in western North Dakota, home to the Bad Lands and Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora, head to their mailboxes sometime this week or next, they’re going to find a letter from their county commissioners. That’s unusual. About the only time county government sends you a letter is with your property tax bill. But this …


PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 6

A few people have asked about how I put this trip together and how it was organized, and I thought that this would be a good post to explain that as the past day has been about travel coordination. When Gretchen and I decided to go, we talked about the places we wanted to visit, knowing we would want to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — And Then The Conventions Were Over …

Humorist Will Rogers once said, “I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” North Dakota Republicans left Fargo mumbling something like that Sunday morning, changing the last word, after the fiasco that was their purported state convention. Democrats, meanwhile, trickled out of town knowing they had at least three credible candidates at the top …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 5

Today was a deep dive into Morocco, its history and culture, as we took a walking tour of the old city portion of Fes. Today Fes has a modern city and the medieval Medina, which together have 1.5 million people. Fes was founded in 789 by Iraqis who sought to bring Islam to Morocco. Prior to that time, the country …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — White Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup

It would be hard for me to point out one vegetable as my favorite. Of course, the tomato rates right up, even though technically it’s a fruit. And I can’t forget cabbage, which is great just about anyway it’s prepared.  Then there are onions. Who can cook without them? But there is one vegetable that’s climbing the ladder quickly, and …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 4

The key to successful travel experiences, in my opinion, is pace. You can’t go, go, go all the time and really appreciate all that a country has to offer. At least I can’t. So some days you need to deliberately slow down to experience a country and not just see it. That’s what today was all about. We had a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Convention Notes … So Far

Saturday morning. The first Saturday of April. Time for Spring. I’ve played a lot of golf on the first Saturday of April over the years.  Not last year, of course, when there was 2 feet of snow on the ground outside my bedroom window. But this year, the grass is getting a green tint out there, and I’d at least …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 3, Evening Iftar

Serendipity: “The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Serendipity — what we experienced this evening in Tangier. Last night, during dinner, we had the most delightful waiter, Reda, a high school senior. During the course of our conversation over the meal, he extended an invitation to us to join him and some of …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco Day 3

Normally when I get up in the morning, I do not plan my wardrobe to coordinate with the city to which I am traveling. However, this wasn’t a normal day and Chefchauoen is not a normal city. We set out with our driver from the previous day and drove two hours up to the mountains to this famous blue city. …

JIM THIELMAN: Women’s basketball — An Overnight Sensation, Decades In The Making

A few days back, a Washington Post story on my laptop told of young fans roaming the mean streets of Albany, N.Y., after the NCAA women’s basketball semifinals. The Post quoted a smug fan lamenting to her pals that “everyone’s jumping on our … bandwagon.” A thought balloon popped over my head that Alexander the Great started out in Macedonia …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco, Day 2

I often tell people that I have adopted Rick Steves approach to travel, which focuses on being a backdoor traveler. Today I took that to a whole new level. We spent the first part of the day touring Morocco with a driver arranged through our lodging.  Our driver, Mohammed, spoken no English. However, we were able to communicate through Martha’s …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Morocco, Day 1

What started with a loose screw ended with a magical encounter with a painting that has long been one of my favorite works of art. So goes the serendipity of travel as I embark on another segment of “Travels with Paula—Moroccan (and unexpectedly Madrid) edition.” (Time to silence my posts if you don’t like my travelogues.) After getting up at …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Taking God Hostage

Most people, in my opinion, misunderstand the commandment “Don’t take God’s name in vain.” It is often associated with using course and vulgar language, which while at times can be both crude and degrading, has absolutely NOTHING to do with what I believe this commandment is about. This commandment is about using God’s name to claim power for yourself. Claiming, …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — It Takes A Village

I’ve been thinking lately about the importance of interdependence and relying on others to help you. We are so often tied into the myth that we need to be self-reliant, which totally misses the greatest joy of life — giving and receiving help because we don’t need to be able to do everything for ohurselves. On Thursday, I did a …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. Miami University

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team advanced to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff next weekend at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul with a 7-1 win over Miami University in clinching the best-of-three quarterfinal series. The Fighting Hawks (26-10-2) defeated the RedHawks ( 7-26-3) 5-1 on Friday night. UND gained the conference semifinals for fourth …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. Miami University

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team won the opening game of their National Collegiate Hockey Conference Quarterfinal series with Miami University 5-1 on Friday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Freshman goalie Hobie Hedquist stepped in for starter Ludvig Persson to lead the Fighting Hawks (25-10-2) over RedHawks (7-25-3). Hedquist stopped 23 shots in covering for Persson, who was …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Thin Ice

OK, Doug Burgum, this time you’re on thin ice with me. It’s that time of year. The ice is getting thinner and thinner. but YOUR ice is really thin right now. This past summer, you used your thick billfold to try to become president by offering to send $20 gift cards to anyone sending you a dollar, so you could …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Little Missouri Bridge Work Halted; Judge: ‘Taking Property By Eminent Domain Is An Odious … Process’

“The crux of this case is the preservation of the untouched and dramatic beauty of the Shorts’ property in the North Dakota Bad Lands while the underlying legal issues are resolved. Theodore Roosevelt once described this area in compelling terms: ”From the edges of the valley the land rises abruptly in steep high buttes, whose crests are sharp and jagged. …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. Western Michigan University

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team won its sixth Penrose Cup with a 3-0 victory over the  Western Michigan University in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play Saturday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The No. 3 Fighting Hawks (24-8-2 overall, 15-6-1 NCHC) received goals from Louis Jamernik V, Jackson Blake and Owen McLaughlin and a 35-save shutout from goalie …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. Western Michigan University

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team skated to a 5-3 National Collegiate Hockey Conference win over the Western Michigan University on Friday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena as it closed in on its sixth Penrose Cup. The No. 3 Fighting Hawks (23-8-2 overall, 14-6-1 NCHC) can clinch the title with a win tonight against the Huskies (18-12-1 overall, …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — A Leap Of Faith

My appreciation for Leap Day changed dramatically eight years ago when my mother’s earthly journey ended on Feb 29. The last years of her life were at times a living hell for her, as she battled the most horrific form of Alzheimer’s I’ve ever seen, robbing her of the dignity that defined her life, even as she was still aware …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Mushrooms With Potatoes And Onions

Mushrooms and onions are a good combination when sauteed in butter or olive oil. Add some potatoes to the mix along with coconut milk and you have a pretty delicious entree. This dish would  pair up nicely with just about any meat that you would like. Or if you prefer, a stand-alone meatless meal, which is the way I had …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. University Of Minnesota-Duluth

Jackson Blake scored a goal and added four assists to lead the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team to a 6-0 National Collegiate Hockey Conference win over the University of Minnesota-Duluth on Friday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Cameron Berg also chipped in two goals and an assist for the Fighting Hawks (21-8-2 overall, 12-6-1 NCHC). Also scoring goals …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — George Santos, Meet Tammy Miller

In the Bismarck Tribune about North Dakota Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller’s announcement that she was running for governor this past week. Tribune reporter Jacob Fulton wrote this: Miller touted her childhood “cleaning toilets and stocking shelves” at the family lumber and hardware business in Brocket; she also said she “defended the store from robbers with her shotgun.” Now I had …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Crabs and Algorithms; Here’s A Shopping List

I said the other day I was going to stick to writing about King Crab Legs. So here goes. OK, Facebook, OK! I like King Crab Legs! You know that, just like you know a hundred other things about me. But did you have to tell every fish house in America? OK, so now I know, for sure, where I …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Billings County Voters Might Get To Vote On The Bridge

The North Dakota Secretary of State’s office says it is OK for Billings County residents to vote in June on whether they want their County Commission to use its power of eminent domain to take land for a road and bridge across the Little Missouri State Scenic River. The vote would not be binding on the commissioners or the bridge’s …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Oops; Maybe Nobody Was Listening After All

This past week, I wrote a story in this space that said the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party had apparently been the victim of electronic eavesdropping after a device that might have been a “bug” was found in a door frame at the party’s former headquarters, the North Dakota Kennedy Center. Turns out that I and several members of the Kennedy …

JIM THIELMAN: Bucket Lists? We Don’t Need No Stinking Bucket Lists

It was pure genius when the crooner who said, “I don’t really like any kind of work” created the grandfather of all golf tournaments. Bing Crosby’s golf tournament was unlike any other. In the 1960s, A-list celebrities like Bob Hope, Danny Thomas and Glen Campbell brought in television sponsorship money, which brought the “The Crosby” and the Pacific Ocean to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — King Crab Legs; No, Really

I am a sucker for seafood. No, wait, let me shorten that sentence. I am a sucker. You’d think by now, at my ripe old age, I’d know to be mindful of the old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” In my case, I’d change “probably” to “definitely.” I got scammed. Really, really scammed. …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. University Of Denver

The No. 5-ranked University of North Dakota men’s hockey team handed No. 4 University of Denver a 4-2 defeat in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play Saturday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena and in doing so completed a weekend sweep. UND won Friday night’s contest 5-2. The win for the Fighting Hawks (18-6-2 overall, 9-4-1 NCHC) solidified their first-place standing in …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. University Of Denver

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team, ranked fifth in the nation, defeated No. 4 University of Denver 5-2 in National Collegiate Hockey Conference play Friday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Five different players — Dylan James, Griffin Ness, Jackson Blake, Cameron Berg and Ben Strinden — scored for the Fighting Hawks (17-6-2 overall, 8-4-1 NCHC), who took sole …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Future Of The Bad Lands Is In The Hands Of A Judge

The only thing we know for sure after Monday morning’s court hearing on the proposed bridge over the Little Missouri State Scenic River is that the bridge is not going to get built before March 1. U.S. District Judge Dan Traynor made sure of that because he’s not going to issue a decision on whether he’s going to grant a …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 12

I write this final post having just awakened from a three-hour nap  after completing a 28-hour journey from leaving the ship to arriving home. We needed to be out of our rooms by 8 a.m. and on the bus by 8:40 a.m. So we had a last breakfast and a chance to say goodbye to some of the friends we …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 11

Our last full day on the ship started early. Very early. Around 4 a.m., both Janel and I woke up when a series of swells and waves covered our window on the fourth floor of the ship. Later, I heard that it did the same for people on the fifth floor. This is a huge ship. That was a huge …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 10

Our time on the continent was over, so we set out to once again to  cross the Drake Passage, which takes two days. We had been forewarned that our trip across was average, but the return trip would be the Drake shake. I spent most of the morning birdwatching. I was particularly interested in the albatross species that were flying …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 9

Today was the day that I had been thinking about and debating over since I first decided to take this cruise to Antarctica: the day of the polar plunge. When thinking about jumping into the water, I knew I could not do it, not out of fear but out of solid sense of safety. The form of asthma I have …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 8

Sometimes the best laid  plans don’t pan out and even better plans take their place. That is what transpired today. The intent had been to land at a site and do quite a steep walk to the top of a vista where there would’ve been many many Chinstrap penguins and had yet another chance to get a good workout in …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Cabbage Sauerkraut Soup

The combination of cabbage and sauerkraut might seem like a cruciferous overkill to some, but to those who are aficionados of superfoods, that would be right up their alley. The following soup recipe has both cabbage and sauerkraut, as well as several other vegetables including carrots, potatoes and tomatoes, some of my favorites. So when I spotted it on the …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — University of North Dakota Vs. University Of Nebraska-Omaha

The University of North Dakota men’s hockey team once again came up short in overtime, dropping a 5-4 National Collegiate Hockey Conference decision to the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Friday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Fighting Hawks (14-6-1 overall, 5-4-0 NCHC) blew three leads in the game to the Mavericks (11-6-2 overall, 4-4-1 NCHC) before dropping their fourth straight …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, The Campout

When I first begin to explore going on a cruise to Antarctica, I read about the opportunity to go camping on the continent. Of course, every fiber of my outdoor being hoped and prayed that I would be able to take advantage of such a unique and incredible opportunity. However I was fully aware that because of conditions and limited …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 7

This morning, they had no plans for a zodiac cruise and instead told us to go outside and watch for whales. These people know what they’re talking about. From the moment we sat at breakfast, we saw whales all around us, mainly humpback. The pictures aren’t fantastic but it was incredible to watch them breach and put their tails up …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Antarctica Journey, Day 6

After a superb sleep, which I can’t help but think was the result of a nice hot tub and sauna before bed in Antarctic temperatures, we woke up a bit more leisurely than we had in the past few days because our cruise around Port Lockroy wasn’t until the second grouping. I’ve had a few questions about clothing and temperature, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Anybody Need A New Tent Or Vacuum Cleaner Or Pool Table?

This space can get awfully discouraging much of the time, as I go after oil barons and county commissioners and politicians and other bad guys, and most of my friends will tell you pessimism is not generally my demeanor, so I continually go looking for things to get me back on the “sunny side of life.” From time to time, …